Aurangzeb Alamgir (1618-1707) was the third son of Shah Jahan and the last of the prominent Mughal rulers. He came to power in AD 1658, after defeating his brothers and ruled for nearly 50 years until his death in AD 1707, aged 90.

Much less tolerant of other religions, Aurangzeb spent much of his time making enemies with the Hindus of North India. He removed the tax-free status that Akbar had granted the Hindus, destroyed temples, and crushed vassal states that had previously enjoyed semi-independent status.

A voracious conqueror, he pushed his kingdom's territory into the far south of India through the Deccan. He was unable to maintain this over bloated domain and during the last days of his rule, he was the emperor of a sinking ship.

Pearl Mosque and Safdar Jang's Tomb in Delhi and Bibi ka Maqbara ( Aurangabad) are some of the architectural achievements of his age. Art, architecture and music took a beating due to his orthodoxy and several musicians and literary figures had to live in exile.

Updated on 15th April, 2019


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